My Virtual Neighbourhood helps thousands of small businesses survive the pandemic

A couple from North London have generated over a quarter of a million pounds worth of trade for small business since the outbreak of Coronavirus.
By: Local Buyers Club
LONDON - Feb. 23, 2021 - PRLog -- When the UK entered its first lockdown, Basil and Jenna Fansa were determined to do something to help independent businesses stay afloat.  They worked day and night building My Virtual Neighbourhood, a website providing free listings for over 3,000 of London's small shops and restaurants and detailing how they are continuing to serve their communities.

In less than a year the site has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors – signposting them to small businesses in their neighbourhood. It's estimated, based on clicks from the site to small business websites and industry average online order values, that My Virtual Neighbourhood has generated well over £250,000 worth of sales for London's independents*.

Basil, a former government economist, said: "It is wonderful to know that, armed with nothing but a laptop and an internet connection, we're helping small businesses ride out the storm. We're determined to make it easier for Londoners to find and support independents. I'd urge everyone to visit the site and find inspiration for brilliant businesses in their neighbourhood to order from. Life is so much more interesting and local economies thrive so much more when you shop local."

In 2020 it's reported that Amazon's UK sales soared by 51% to a record £19.4bn.

My Virtual Neighbourhood has gained the backing of Camden, Hackney and Wandsworth Councils and has become a core part of their shop-local campaigns. More councils are set to follow soon.

Among the businesses praising the shop local site My Virtual Neighbourhood are Ince Umbrellas. Founded in 1805, the company has survived two world wars – they say My Virtual Neighbourhood has been their biggest source of online referrals during the pandemic.

Heidi Early of Stoke Newington based Earlybird Cards added: "My Virtual Neighbourhood was an absolute lifeline for us when the pandemic hit. We have so many loyal local customers but they're completely used to coming to the shop and so many didn't even realise we had a website. MVN pulled everything together so quickly, it really was like having a virtual Stokey and so easy for customers to find us. So many customers have told us they found us through MVN."

Karen Sims of Hackney-based shop Know and Love said: "Being featured on My Virtual Neighbourhood has been such a lifeline during the lockdown. It has kept a steady stream of customers coming to our website when the shop has had to shut."


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